Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Laredo Loves Its Confederate Icons

While the rest of the country is taking action to remove Confederate statues from public squares, Laredo carries on with its complacency of its own troubled history during the Civil War.

Julia Wallace (LMT) noted in Sunday's paper the reaction from local leaders to Santos Benavides, a colonel in the Confederate Army.

TAMIU Professor Jerry Thompson:

The Benavides family, like most families in Texas, had no inclination toward abolition.  Yet there was no evidence they ever aspired to own slaves.

Thompson wrote "Tejano Tiger," a book about Benavides, warts and all, apparently.  More on the colonel:

And Benavides had been a slave-catcher in instances before the war.  He once gathered 10 armed men to cross into Nuevo Laredo with him to capture a runaway slave and bring him back across the river, where he was put in jail. 

Others in town, however, aren't so quick to throw shade on the infamous Santos Benavides.  UISD Superintendent Roberto Santos, speaking on the school in his district, 'said he would not consider changing the name of Col. Santos Benavides Elementary School.  If the UISD school was named after an outsider, that would be a different situation.'

State Sen. Judith Zaffirini was quoted as saying, he is not known as a Confederate figure.  He is seen as a local leader and a local hero.

Rep. Henry Cuellar weighed in with a sallow statement, coinciding with his own pallid countenance.  I'll leave it at that.

But the cake-taker has to be our own Mayor Pete Saenz, a man who has exhibited having no backbone since taking office.  The mayor:

Given our composite, we're primarily Hispanics.  Some people may not necessarily care.  Why create an issue when we're OK with it?

The mayor didn't seem to mind the displaying of Civil War relics when discussing the Confederate flag two years ago.  His cowardly attitude endures to this day.  He's the perfect man for our sleepy hamlet.  Not a good thing.

Look around when you have a chance and you'll see the Confederate flag on display throughout Laredo.  Our leaders should care about the image we're putting forward for visitors.  It matters.

 The Confederate flag comes in many forms.

If you happen to watch a city council meeting, look for the flag.  It's not hard to miss.

UPDATE on January 2, 2019.  Found this old photo online.  I noticed how this town used to fly the Confederate flag that's more familiar to people.  Over the years, apparently, businesses have softened its take on local history.  It's less jarring and controversial not having the Stars and Bars flying high out in public, especially at a spot that is one of Laredo's marketed destinations.


  1. One is a national conferate flag and the other is the conferate battle flag which everyone considers that it denotes hate . I am glad Laredo is not trying to erase history rather preserve it. The Jews suffered tremendously under the Nazis and yet they continue making movies about the Holocaust. Plus they have a museum of that history . They want future generations to know what happened and never forget they don't bitch or moan !

  2. Movies about the Holocaust are usually not feel-good films. They point to the atrocities committed against a group of people, against nations. Proponents of the Confederate Flag point to it like it's a noble relic, something to be revered. It's not. The flag is a symbol of hate and it doesn't have a place in any public square.

  3. No sir just because a hate group used automatically became a hate symbol band which the same hate group uses a cross lets remove all crosses from churches ? The civil war was not about slavery as impounded into our minds at school. If it were about slavery why did take the union well over 100 years after the civil war to give them civil rights ? Are you going to take down the USA flag because of that ? My father served in the USA army to fight North Koreans in the 1950s where segregation was alive and well. Was treated very badly by his own country yet he proudly served did not burn or try to erase history !

  4. Iam from Laredo, nearly 100 percent Hispanic , moved to the Houston area in 1983 . Here there's a wide culture diversity ! The KKK is alive and well here but instead of wearing those sheets they are Mason's wearing rings and are all over this area even at work . They are hateful but the blacks are more hateful than the hoodsmen . Blacks would call me wetback so in turn called them niggers and they would log complaints against me !! All the female black friends I have all single mothers raising their kids without the Father ! Then there is the lulac more hateful and cut throats ! You want to speak about hate of what you hear from the media you know nothing about. I am living amongst them sad to say have more respect from the KKK than my own race or the blacks . Iam proud to be of Mexican decent !